Newtownards is a town at the head of Strangford Lough, historically in County Down. The counties of Northern Ireland have been abolished so since 2015 it's been part of Ards and North Down "super-district". The lough here is shallow so Newtownards was never a port, and remained small until the 20th century when it mushroomed as a commuter town for Belfast, with a population of 28,050 in 2011. It has visitor amenities but few sights of its own, but the area around the lough is dotted with natural and historic attractions. This page therefore covers the entire Ards Peninsula down to Portaferry, and the northern half of the lough. For the southwest shore of the lough see Downpatrick and Strangford.
Ulsterbus 7 runs from Belfast Laganside via Dundonald to Newtownards (40 min), Donaghadee, Millisle and occasionally to Ballywalter. It runs M-F every 30 min, Sa-Su every two hours. It doesn't serve Belfast Europa station except on Sunday, and M-Sa for the last bus towards 21:00. Bus 5 only takes 20 min between Laganside and Newtownards, but only runs every two hours.
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